Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bible Study: Sloppy action devoid of faith

Romans 15:20
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Is your faith more mature than that of an infant?
Many movies show a character sloppily making the sign of the Cross in a desperate situation. Certainly it is shown as a sort of prayer, a hope that the individual will survive, but what is the prayer worth without belief in the One being prayed to, a mental (let alone vocal) prayer to accompany the action, an ongoing faith before and after the current crisis? The action is often as unrefined as my 14 month old's attempt to make the sign of the Cross for herself, and she seems to understand better what it actually means.
Although the people we encounter every day have had a certain exposure to Christianity, that exposure is often flawed to the point of being counter-productive. We have the opportunity, in a certain sense, of imitating Paul in preaching the gospel where it is not known. If Paul's group of Christians in Corinth were still immature enough to receive only milk, some of the people we encounter are ready for nothing more substantial than colostrum. We should take care not to be one of those immature Christians, childishly imitating a prayer without the power of faith supporting it.
While Paul sought out those who had never heard the gospel, Apollos was willing to follow behind and water the seeds. Some of us today will be called to preach primarily to the unreached, but others are certainly needed to water the seeds and tend the young plants. There is no reason to believe one role is somehow better than the other. But before heading off to carry Christ to anyone, turn the question around and ask how you yourself are doing. Are you inclined to throw out a hasty act of faith only when a desperate situation arises? Are you a baby Christian, surviving only or primarily on milk? Or are you an older child, a teenager, or an adult Christian, understanding and living the faith day in and day out, witnessing to others even when you're not trying to?

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